Children with sickle cell disease – an inherited red blood-cell disorder – are living longer, dying less often from their disease and contracting fewer fatal infections than ever before, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report.
Their study, which will appear in the June edition of the scientific journal Blood, is the first to evaluate survival rates of children receiving the most modern treatments for sickle cell disease. Its also one of the largest published sickle cell studies to date. Researchers followed more than 700 Dallas-area children with the disease over two decades.
Thirty years ago, only half of children with sickle cell disease were expected to reach adulthood. This new study showed that patients with sickle cell anemia, the severest and most common form of the disease, had a survival rate of 85.6 percent at 18 years old, and patients with milder forms of sickle cell disease had a survival rate of 97.4 percent at 18. Also, 11.5 percent of patients with sickle cell anemia had a stroke by 18 years old. Although this rate remains constant, fewer children are dying as a result of the stroke, researchers said.
Staishy Bostick Siem | EurekAlert!
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